Ice Skating in the Desert

Ice-skating in the desert? Well yes, in a shopping mall that is. Actually there are quite a few places in Riyadh and around the country where they have small ice-skating rinks inside the children’s entertainment areas. The problem is (if you’re a Finnish woman craving to do someRead more

Saudi-Arabia Suffers from ADHD

According to an Arab news article Saudis “suffer” from a high rate of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, also know as ADHD. The rate in Saudi was found to be an alarming 15% (globally 3-5%).ADHD is typically 4 times more common in boys than it is in girls. An estimated 50% of theRead more

King Abdullah Starts a New Era for Saudi Women

King Abdullah has announced in his speech something monumental in regards to women’s rights in the Kingdom.  This is a historical moment for Saudi women and Saudi Arabia as a country. King Abdullah has announced that women will be allowed to vote and participate as members in the appointedRead more

The Magical Moroccan Maids

“How do you get a Saudi woman to do housework?” “Suggest hiring a Moroccan house maid.” Saudi families cannot seem to function without their maids. Usually maids were hired from Philippines and Indonesia to live with the Saudi employers. The government has now haltedRead more

The Finnish Dude’s Ultimate Guide to Coffee Drinking in Saudi-Arabia

So you are Finnish dude and have arrived in Saudi-Arabia. Like the typical Finnish dude, you are not very familiar with the Arab culture. You think Saudis are hairy men wearing big skirts that live in the desert in tents eating camels and fighting other Arabs. Luckily you find yourself invited toRead more

Women to Finally Sell Lingerie in Saudi-Arabia?

Scene from a lingerie store in Riyadh, Saudi-Arabia. Woman enters shop fully covered in her black abaya. An Arab male salesclerk approaches with a smile while closely eyeing her body up and down. “Hello ma’m can I help? You need push-up bra?” –No thank you. “We haveRead more

Saudi Men and the Pressure to Perform

Picture an 86-year old bedridden man. He has recently married a 16-year old girl, his third wife. He feels the need for a little “boost” to his manhood to fully enjoy the newlywed marital life and satisfy his new bride. Viagra no longer works for him. What can he do?  The man isRead more

Tourism in Saudi-Arabia Faces Many Obstacles

“My Kingdom will survive only insofar as it remains a country difficult to access, where the foreigner will have no other aim, with his task fulfilled, but to get out.” – King Abdul Aziz bin Saud, c. 1930 Not exactly the most welcoming words coming from the ruler of a country thatRead more

Lost in Translation: Eid activities!

Eid mubarak everyone! The holidays have begun and there will be lots of entertainment and activities during the next three days around Riyadh. Check out my pictures from last year’s celebrations here. If expats were more aware of all the interesting cultural events going on, I bet theirRead more

Ramadan- Favorite Month For Saudi Religious Police

Ramadan, the busiest season of the year for the members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (CPVPV) aka Saudi religious police force. I like to refer to them more familiarly as the muttawa or Hai’a. DISCLAIMER: This entire post is written in a sarcastic tone,Read more

Dear Riyadh

Dearest Riyadh, I hope this letter finds you in good health and inshallah the dust is not covering you too much. How have you been doing otherwise? How is your great grandfather Old Diriyah doing? I have been wanting to visit him for a long time but it has been too hot! I heard he has done someRead more

Remember to say Mashallah!

Something I learned the hard way in Saudi-Arabia was the importance of saying mashallah, maashallah, mashallaah, or mash’Allah. When I had just started working as a nurse I was full of excitement and I was very talkative with my patients. I wouldn’t give second thought to complimentingRead more